Anea Duratovic: ‘It feels wonderful being back in Australia’

A singer with a flair for subtlety, intimacy and understatement, Anea Duratovic is carving her own path as an artist within the Australian jazz ecosystem, having gained valuable experience in Europe. Back from London, the vocalist fromPerth is traveling south for a couple of nights, as her music is featured in Diva Month, Paris Cat’s annual November celebration of women in jazz.

What are you going to present at your Melbourne shows ?

I’m going to be presenting two different shows at Paris Cat. The first is entitled ‘A Celebration of the Modern Day Jazz Vocalist’ and is basically a collection of original songs, as well as arrangements of standards, from a selection of current jazz vocalists both internationally, as well as within Australia. It will be featuring songs from Gian Slater, Esperanza Spalding, Kristin Berardi and Gretchen Parlato, just to name a few.

The second show is a ‘Disney Jazz‘ show. It’s basically a night full of jazz arrangements of well-known Disney songs, inspired by the album Disney Jazz Volume 1: Everybody Wants To Be A Cat.

How does it feel being back in Australia?

It feels wonderful. I definitely missed the beach a lot!

How has your experience in London been?

What I noticed most about the London jazz scene is just how large it is. But it is a city home to just over eight million people, so that is to be expected. This obviously leads to more competition, and unfortunately, musicians undercutting fees. It made me realise that we have a very unique and wonderful jazz scene in Perth – and Australia in general. Everyone is very supportive of each other in Perth, and musicians here know the base rate expected for performances/functions.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Organising my very first tour of Melbourne with my original music will always be a highlight for me! Five of us set out from Perth for it, and gigged at four venues over five days. It was such a thrill to perform my own music to an audience, very nerve-wracking as well!

What is your greatest aspiration?

To tour internationally with my original music.

Your performance is part of the Paris Cat ‘Diva Month’, a celebration of women in jazz; how has your experience, as a woman in jazz been?

My experience as a woman in jazz has been positive, however I am acutely aware that this is not all women’s experience in the jazz scene. As such, I think the role of women in jazz, in the light of the #metoo movement, is to speak out when something is unjust. As women we need to be completely supportive of one another, and in that way we will build the confidence to stand up when gender-specific challenges arise.

Who are your heroes?

Musically – Nai Palm, Esperanza Spalding and Katie Noonan.

How did you get into jazz?

I think a lot of musicians have this answer… it was because of a great teacher. I would never have discovered jazz, or have fall in in love with it the way I have, if it wasn’t for his guidance and inspiration. He is the reason I chose to study jazz, as well as move into the teaching profession and inspire other young musicians.

Which tune best describes your current state of mind?

It’s probably two right now; the beautiful jazz standard ‘Young at Heart’, and ‘Yours’ by Sara Gazarek.

Anea Duratovic is playing at the Paris Cat on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 November